From June 30 to December 31, 2020, we are participating in the “Read Woke From Home” Challenge on Beanstack, born of a movement by school librarian Cicely Lewis to encourage students to read books that:

  • challenge a social norm
  • give voices and platforms to groups that have been marginalized in publishing
  • provide information about a group that has been disenfranchised
  • seek to challenge the status quo
  • have a protagonist from an underrepresented or oppressed group.

This movement has been expanded to readers of all ages to help us all diversify our reading! Sign up at thomaston.beanstack.org to get started. Need a place to start for any of the challenge activities? Check out the book lists below. We have selected a few books for readers of different ages that would fulfill each challenge category. These lists are by no means exhaustive but are simply a place to start. Feel free to reach out to any of our librarians for additional help in selecting books for the challenge! 

Please note that we are continually working on making our collection inclusive and representative of a wide range of voices and perspectives. We recently applied for and received a grant from Diverse BookFinder to help diversify our picture book collection, but we still have work to do, especially for other reading levels. You may notice that some of the items we linked to in our book lists are available as interlibrary loans or ebooks through cloudLibrary. We wanted to make sure to bring some titles to your attention even if they aren’t directly available in our own collection at the moment. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about how to borrow these books.

African American Voices – Early Readers

Saturday by Oge Mora
Sulwe by Lupita Nyong
The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson

African American Voices – Middle Grade

Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds
The Season of Styx Malone by Kekla Magoon
Clean Getaway by Nic Stone
Hurricane Child by Kheryn Callender

African American Voices – YA

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas
American Street by Ibi Zoboi
Dear Haiti, Love Alaine by Maika Moulite

African American Voices – Adult

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
The Water Dance by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid